This song is about the sounds that different insects make.

虫のこえ (Mushi no Koe) - Japanese Children's Songs - Japan - Mama Lisa's World: Children's Songs and Rhymes from Around the World  - Intro Image

Notes

*This was originally grasshopper きりぎりす - it was changed to cricket in 1932.
**Also known as Devil's Horses or Eastern Lubber Grasshoppers

This is a Japanese Ministry of Education Song from 1910.

About the Insects:

まつむし 松 虫 - Pine Cricket - Matsumushi - Xenogryllus marmorata
すずむし 鈴 虫 - Bell-ring Cricket - Suzumushi - Homoeogryllus japonicus
こうろぎ 蟋 蟀 - kōrogi: Cricket (various kinds) [えんまこおろぎ] Gryllus mitratus
くつわむし 轡 虫 - Giant Katydid - Kutsuwamushi - Mecopoda elongata
うまおい馬追い: A long-horned grasshopper; a (unicolor) katydid - Umaoi - Hexacentrus japonicus

Pronunciation:

Mushi no koe

Are matsu-mushi ga naite iru
chin-chiro chin-chiro chin-chiro-rin
are suzu-mushi mo naki dashita
rin-rin rin-rin ri-in-rin

aki no yonaga wo naki toosu
Ah ah, omoshiroi mushi no koe.

Kiri-kiri kiri-kiri koorogi ya
gacha-gacha gacha-gacha kutsuwa-mushi
ato kara umaoi oitsuite chi
chon-chon chon-chon sui-chon

aki no yonaga wo naki toosu
Ah ah, omoshiroi mushi no koe.

Comments

Some Japanese people keep crickets as pets in bamboo cages because they like the sound they make! Though it's less popular these days, you can still buy crickets in Japanese pet stores.

In the very olden days, people would have competitive concerts between the singing insects.

"When I was twelve years old, my grandmother was given Suzu-mushi (a bell-ring cricket) by her friend and she enjoyed hearing the beautiful chirps every night in her room... Since the old days, people have loved to hear songs of insects and many traditional poets have composed poems about them. Even now, people can buy Suzu-mushi at a pet shop to hear their songs." -Rie

You can read more about how some people have Crickets as Pets in Japan and China on Mama Lisa's Blog.

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Sheet Music

Sheet Music - 虫のこえ (Mushi no Koe)

Thanks and Acknowledgements

Image: The Procession of Insects by Nishiyama Hoen (1804 - 1867), edited by Lisa.

Thanks to Sadao Mazuka for the midi!

Arigato!

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